A Bouquet Of Flowers

Nature in Motion


Conversation 8 minute read


A Man With His Arms Crossed


Thomas Hilland is an artist, designer and award-winning director whose work spans the worlds of visual art and advertising. As a commercial director, he has worked with a diverse range of international brands, including Adidas, Coca Cola, Mercedes and Visa. As an artist, he employs his signature visual style to create immersive video installations for galleries and public spaces.

A Person Standing In A Room

Can you explain what motivated you to create Floral Dive?

Creating a large-scale, gallery-worthy digital installation was a concept I was passionate about. When I was offered the opportunity to create a video-based installation for the lobby of COMO Metropolitan Singapore, I knew it was a perfect brief, with the freedom to push boundaries and create something uniquely arresting. 

We discussed various ideas around the theme of ’transformation' with COMO Group’s founder, Mrs Christina Ong, but the motivation was the space itself: the lobby’s focal point, an LED wall that provided a blank canvas for visual ideas. 

I wanted the visuals to captivate and fascinate, but not be overpowering, allowing for the lobby’s many changing atmospheres throughout the day. And of course, it should be beautiful — something that could be a talking piece and a COMO hotels visual signature.

In many luxury hotels you’ll find opulent flower displays, so I realised that here was an opportunity to create a cinematic version — flower arrangements that are in motion, that continually change and renew themselves. I wanted the viewers to feel immersed in flowers — a ‘floral dive’ into changing petals, leaves, colours and organic shapes — inviting the viewer to hang around to see what might come next.

How has Floral Dive pushed your boundaries as a creative? What challenges have you had to overcome?

We’re surrounded by screens and the content is typically very fast-paced and loud. I wanted to do something completely opposite to that: make a large-format LED wall into a soothing, hypnotic experience that gently entices you in.

My solution was to make a slow-motion film moving through a series of beautiful three-dimensional flower arrangements. The camera travels in a pendulum movement — from extreme close-ups of single petals, then gradually revealing the full picture, then moving back in again — with flowers continually changing through seamless transitions. 

I used a programmable film camera for the shoot, one normally used for commercials and high-action shoots. It was probably the first time anyone has used the slowest speed, with takes lasting 24 minutes instead of a couple of seconds. The challenge was to make the technique invisible and let the organic beauty of the images shine. 

We wanted the film to be a full 24-hours long with two separate visual moods: one lighter, brighter half for daytime, and a darker, more seductive look for night. At the end, the film automatically restarts, with a seamless transition from the last frame to the first. So yes - there were definitely many challenges in stitching it all together!

What excites you about the COMO Metropolitan Singapore as a canvas for your work?

Every COMO hotel and resort is known for its strong architecture and individual design, and it is such a bold move to have an eight by seven metre LED video wall as the centrepiece of a lobby in a brand new hotel such as COMO Metropolitan Singapore. 

It is very new, very confident and, as — I understand — very Mrs Ong, a work in keeping with her reputation for pushing creative boundaries and supporting fresh ideas. 

When we installed and premiered the film at the hotel, the lobby felt  akin to a modern art gallery that you’d like to visit. The clean, minimal architecture framing the space, the buzz of the people, and the video artwork all came together as a whole, creating a new type of hotel environment that I, for one, have not experienced anywhere else.

Being able to have my work featured on such a scale,  and in such a setting, as COMO Metropolitan Singapore is very exciting, especially because of the continually changing international audience of guests that will be passing through

What do you hope your audience will take away from their encounter with your work?

I hope people will be fascinated and captivated, have their spirits lifted, and feel visually seduced — and that perhaps they'll stay for one more coffee or cocktail!

A Person Walking In A Room With A Large Plant

Book your stay at COMO Metropolitan Singapore and enjoy Thomas Hilland’s captivating Floral Dive throughout your visit.